SAN FRANCISCO -- Are you one of 17 million Facebook users using the "Most Used Words" wordcloud the Facebook app? If so, you might want to delete the app as soon as possible.
According to Comparitech, a tech comparison and review website, the popular app is a "privacy nightmare."
The app reportedly scans all posts in 2015 and is "harvesting a tranche" of personal information. Comparitech said app users must elect to "give up almost every private detail" about themselves to use the app.
Here's a list of everything the app requests access to:
- Name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public info
- Entire friend list
- Everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline
- All of your photos and photos you’re tagged in
- Education history
- Hometown and current city
- Everything you’ve ever liked
- IP address
- Information about the device you’re using including browser and language
The app's policy says information gathered can be stored on servers "any location" in the world, meaning your personal data may not have the same privacy protections common in the U.S. if stored on servers in another country.
Vonvon has not commented publicly after the Comparitech report was published on Sunday.
How to protect yourself
If you do choose to install an app, you can click on “Edit the info you provide” link when installing an app.
How to remove the "Most Used Words" app:
On desktop: Click the upside down arrow in the top right > Settings > Click on apps > Edit settings/remove apps as needed.
Using the Facebook mobile app: Click on the "more" menu > Settings > Account Settings > Apps > Click "Logged in with Facebook > Edit settings/remove apps as needed.